Frequently Asked Questions

Clarifications, declarations, curiosities and observations. Below is a series of answers to common questions, and perhaps a few things we just need to get off our chest. Who knows what will appear here over time? It may even get a little entertaining! Anyway, we hope you find this a helpful resource in some way, shape or form.

Most definitely, yes. Revit content creation is actually our specialty. The team behind BIMcontent.com (IGS) has been providing Revit content creation services since 2009 and has created Revit content for many of the world’s most prominent Building Product Manufactures and design firms. Headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, IGS is internationally recognised as one of the world’s leading Revit content service providers, being specialists in creating Revit content that aligns with the needs of commercial Architecture and Engineering firms. If you’re a product manufacturer or a design firm needing Revit content creation services, please get in touch HERE

To a large degree, this is about supply and demand. A lot of manufacturers either have never heard of Archicad, or if they have, the requests from designers for Archicad content are not as regular as they are for Revit content. If you’re an Archicad user and you want to see more Archicad content on BIMcontent.com there’s two main things we’d suggest you can do. 1. Click the ‘Missing BIM Content’ button on the site and let us know which specific manufacturers you want Archicad content from. We can then reach out to the manufacturer and let them know there is demand from specifiers (i.e. their customers) and therefore benefit for them to create and host Archicad content on BIMcontent.com. 2) speak directly with your preferred suppliers and tell them you want Archicad content from them! We are still amazed at how often we speak with manufacturers and they’ve never heard of or been asked for Archicad content, especially when on the flipside, we hear from so many Architects who use Archicad lamenting that manufacturers aren’t offering Archicad content for their products. If you do speak with any manufacturers and they need help creating Archicad content, tell them to reach out to us and we’ll be glad to help them out.

The answer to this question shouldn’t be a shock to anyone…. and the answer is “not necessarily” *shock horror!*. “But you guys sell BIM content creation services and BIM content hosting…. Why would you say such a thing?”. The fact of the matter is – and always will be – being specified is the result of multiple considerations on behalf of the specifier. For example, if your product is at a price point in excess the project budget, your lead times are deemed prohibitive, your product not suitable for the project’s requirements, your certifications not sufficient or even if the specifier doesn’t enjoy dealing with your sales / technical team, having the best BIM content in the world won’t help you. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking you can just have BIM content created and this is all you need to do to get specified. There are usually several key boxes to tick in order to be specified. All things being equal, having quality BIM content available for your products and making it accessible from a platform like BIMcontent.com which is frequently used by specifiers will help you be seen more often and ensure you are providing the right tools designers need to put your products in their projects at the critical point in time they are creating their documentation. But this is just one of many things manufacturers should do if they are wanting to grow sales through specifications. It’s an increasingly important one as the process of finding, evaluating and documenting products in projects becomes more digital, but it’s just one of several factors nonetheless. 

The generic term ‘BIM Content’ – sometimes interchangeably used with the term ‘BIM Object(s)’ – can potentially mean several things. BIM Content can come in several different formats and with different purposes. The BIM content hosted on BIMcontent.com is predominantly the more ‘traditional’ 3D object / model-based kind, in the specific software formats of Revit and Archicad. For product manufacturers, BIM content is essentially digital representations of your products used by designers in their building information models (i.e. their project designs / documentation). Manufacturer BIM content incorporates a 3D representation of your products as well as various metadata associated with the identification of your products such as (but not limited to) product / element type classification, supplier details, model numbers, materials, specification data, power / water / plumbing connections and performance metrics.

BIM stands for Building Information Modelling… or at least that’s the original use of the acronym. Over the years, as BIM has evolved, some have also referred to it as ‘Building Information Management’ or ‘Better Information Management’. Fundamentally, BIM is the term used to describe the process of developing a digital model and associated data to represent a building or infrastructure project. It’s worth noting that the term is a verb. BIM is not a software format or a single piece of technology. The utilisation of BIM (tools, processes, workflows, protocols, technology) results in substantial efficiencies for various project stakeholders across all project stages. From site evaluation and concept design through to facility management and eventual demolition, and from building product manufacturers to facility managers, BIM is used to drive efficiencies and better quality outcomes. As far as the design aspect of BIM is concerned, this is usually defined (broadly / generally) as the utilisation of parametric-capable software such as Revit or Archicad to create a data-rich 3D model that contains both graphical and non-graphical information to generate outputs such as Architectural and Engineering drawings, visualisation and schedules, and to perform analysis and coordination tasks such as clash-detection, costings, sustainability evaluation and cost estimates.

Revit materials that use custom Image Textures will appear grey or a flat colour without the image if the image cannot be “found” by Revit. All libraries on BIMcontent.com that use custom Image Textures have the additional download type of “Material Images”. This contains all Material Texture Images for that brand’s library, not just for one product or range. This means the process of downloading and linking the Image folder to Revit needs to be done just once. After downloading the Material Texture Images for the selected brand, follow the steps below to “point” Revit to these images:

Step 1 – If your office has an existing location for Material Assets, copy all associated Material Texture Images into the given folder. Alternatively, create a local folder on your computer to place all custom Material Assets into

Step 2 – Once images are in the correct location, in Revit, select ‘File’, then select ‘Options’.

Step 3 – In the Options dialog, select ‘Rendering’ then the green plus ‘+’ sign.

Step 4 – Paste the folder path from Step 1, or select the three dots, and navigate to that folder, then select ‘OK’.

Once this has been completed, any previously opened view set to realistic will need to be changed to shaded, then back to realistic to see the changes. After this Material Images folder has been established, Steps 2, 3 and 4 do not need to be repeated for each brand, simply copy the images into the same shared folder. If multiple versions of Revit are in use, Steps 2, 3 and 4 do need to be repeated for each Revit version.

For manufacturers asking this question, it’s perhaps best explained using a familiar analogy. As a product manufacturer, the quality of your products is key to your success. Your customers can depend on you, so much as no matter which product they purchase or specify from your product portfolio, there is an implied guarantee of the quality of the product. Your customers habitually work with you owing to this level of trust. But let’s say you introduce a new range of product throughout your product portfolio which is substandard, or differs greatly in quality / performance / reliability of the rest of your range, and that these products are not defined as being as such. Pretty quickly (immediately?), that trust is lost and there is an inferred risk in buying / specifying your products, and your customers start looking for another supplier they can trust in a more holistic capacity. Ergo, it’s generally a better strategy to have a slightly smaller portfolio if the trade-off is adding products that compromise the trust your customers have in your brand and portfolio as a whole.  It’s the same with Revit content (or any format of BIM content for that matter). Poor quality BIM content has the potential to cause serious issues to project design models. Designers use BIMcontent.com as their primary project design resource as they know they can trust the quality of the Revit content hosted on the platform, owing to our stringent quality controls.

The origins of BIMcontent.com are in IGS providing BIM content creation services to manufacturers based in Australia and New Zealand, and later, building product manufacturers based in the United States and various parts of Europe. In these regions, generally speaking, Revit is the model authoring tool used by the majority of commercial Architecture and Engineering practices. To derive maximum return on their investment in BIM content, Building Product Manufacturers are generally more inclined to invest in Revit content than any other native BIM content format, such as Archicad. Revit content is what product manufacturers are getting asked for most by specifiers, so it’s Revit content they ask IGS to create for them. For what it’s worth, IGS does not have any firm beliefs of Revit being ‘better’ than Archicad, or vice versa. Not at all. Ideally, we recommend that manufacturers of Architectural-based building products offer both formats (native) to best accommodate the needs of Revit and Archicad users, who make up the vast majority of commercial Architecture designers in these regions.